Microsoft today announced Windows 365, a cloud-based operating system that can be provided as a service for enterprise users. The new Windows 365 product effectively delivers an instance of either Windows 10 or Windows 11 according to a businesses' needs, and will effectively enable users to have their own personal OS - including settings, app, and data - directly streamed from Microsoft's Azure cloud in exchange for a monthly payment. It will launch on August 2.
"With Windows 365, we’re creating a new category: the Cloud PC,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO said. Essentially, users need only have available hardware from which to access their unique cloud instance - since all data is stored in the cloud, there's no need to replicate settings, apps or even files across multiple devices - you can terminate Windows 365's instance on your desktop PC and then resume work on your laptop during your commute, for example. Microsoft says this will enable users to more effectively work from anywhere, without compromise on their overall user experience. Microsoft promises an instant boot experience - which makes sense, since the only thing being processed by your local hardware will be the Windows 365 stream. Available processing power for your Windows 365 instance will be able to scale according to users' particular usage scenarios and demands - as will storage capability.
Microsoft is using Zero Trust security paradigm and full on-cloud storage to assure customers that their data is always safe.
Microsoft mentions scalability improvements for businesses and lower IT-related costs, due to the security being essentially handled to Microsoft. Businesses also won't have to configure hardware devices per user anymore - they'll just have to provide workers with access to their own personal cloud instance.
Windows 365 is being introduced as many businesses, particularly in vaccinated countries, are deciding how to bring their employees back to work, and whether they'll work in a hybrid fashion.